No texts from me (nor her) tonight. Who knows what I’ll wake up to in the morning or afternoon today? Certainly not another meaningless woman or regrets from town, but that’s okay, I don’t need people or things to validate my life for me like that. High-school pettiness like that should only stay there; in fact, let’s just get rid of it altogether – let’s teach the kids how to be themselves instead and plenty more. Growing up; seeing everything, and everyone for both what they are and what they can be; I want to mean something profound to someone in the same way this city is to me. Let’s talk again when we’re on suitable wavelengths, okay?

Here’s a relevant playlist to keep you in tune with me (get it?)
Where’s the honey-dips at?



Hold Me Down

“Make me an overnight memory”,
Give you or turn you?
Her body’s both smooth and slippery,
She said I looked like Usher when I let it burn through,
We climax then jump tracks.
Paper-thin notes scattered in our rooms and pockets,
Not just money but it makes you more complacent.
The world’s already at your feet though.
Let it flow in the warm and bright white-wine light;
take me there again and we’ll meet when the time’s right.

Current Playlist:


Remembering Capital Steez (2017)

On this day 4 years ago, New York rapper and co-founder of Pro Era – Capital Steez committed suicide at the age of 19 when he jumped off a building’s rooftop in the late hours of the night. Hip Hop and its newly-formed “Beast-coast” movement suffered a significant loss of one of its most-promising talents by the hands of mental-illness and a severe social issue – especially amongst our youth.

As a 19 year-old now myself, I think I’ve recently been able to identify and relate with the ideas in Steez’s music that I couldn’t exactly connect with before: the character of a misunderstood introvert pushed into an environment that forces them to interact, the motif of a person with profound thoughts and feelings they can’t translate into exact words yet, the theme of a person finding solace in the culture of their city, and the belief that “the world is mine” yet everyone else around me has it better than me despite my efforts. All of these elements in Capital Steez’s music formed an underlying narrative of an artist tackling their own identity, their own culture, and facing personal tribulations like lust, envy, greed, and hate – something that resonates with most people.

Finding yourself (particularly at this age of our lives) is a process of critically analyzing, understanding and re-interpreting your past, your influences and whatever else has shaped you. Some things you find while on this process are hard to come to terms with; maybe it’s because certain discoveries challenge our perceptions, and pressure us to make (uncomfortable) changes to deconstruct our identity and rebuild it. I’ve been through it all this past year though, and it was always a struggle to confront my closest circle of friends and family about these ideas and feelings within me; so I can only assume it must’ve been even harder for Capital Steez, and any other artist really, to express his feelings to not just his closest circle of friends or family, but to his fans and whoever hears his music too.

RIP STEELO (all-caps when you spell the man’s name).

Amerikkkan Korruption still holds one of my favourite intro tracks of all time 

Jivin’ the Voodoo Down

Moments of truth,
as we sat in your car on a hot Saturday afternoon,
I told you
“A year ago, I faced a calm before my storm…”
the calmest peace before the hungriest storm…
You look at me with an honesty in your eyes
I’ve seen it many times before in fact,
You tell me I’ve matured since then,
you’re happy for me,
and you’re proud of me.
I didn’t need your confirmation about that though.

I see clearly now,
more than ever,
how peoples’s moves create ripple effects,
like a game of chess.
I used to play so hastily.
Those rainy afternoons I spent being restless;
Those quiet nights I spent listening to music;
Those long mornings I spent without you.
Some of my fondest memories were quick moments
yet their personal significance stay timeless to me
No wonder you’re always on my mind.
Intuitive and impulsive moves make more sense
only after you’ve made them.
(My avatars exemplify that)

Here’s a personal Top-10 to let you feel and/or understand the narrative of my past few months, (and through that, perhaps you could form a narrative of my year so far too.) Let’s call this one “The Chaser’s 2nd Finale, Part III” for now, it’s to pay homage to a lot of things I’ve kept close to me, and will hopefully continue to, years and years down the line as part of my ethos, pathos and logos. (My avatars also exemplify that)


Freudian, a Visual

Recently Grammy-nominated artist Daniel Caesar released a visual for his latest album’s title-track today.

Directed by Keavan Yazdani and Sean Brown, the video opens with a close-up of the Toronto-native’s eyes, and conflicting sounds of hazy instruments and crickets; seemingly portraying Daniel’s wilder, late nights and his quiet, simple nights. The Directors further add to this theme of juxtaposition by split-screening Daniel as he’s seated in a blue, dimly lit room and sings, “[You are the reason]
The reason I sing
[I have to preserve you]
‘Cause you’re my everything”
 as a woman crosses the camera’s view and another woman enters the other screen, and sits beside a less-emotive Daniel Caesar in the same room, but with brighter lighting and company with many cheerful females. Fast cars can be seen passing across the rooms’ windows as the camera fades further away from Daniel.

Through this, audiences feel a sense desperation from Daniel, and form an idea of isolation of some sort; an idea that perhaps the women staying in his room(/life) and leaving him haven’t inherently given him the same sense of joy he assumed they would’ve because he’s still not over his previous lover(s) nor ready to move on from them. The fast cars passing across the rooms’ windows signify Daniel’s days passing by, and his newfound lifestyle of being “on the road”/travelling; contrasting that with a slow zoom-out of an empty and crowded room hints at an idea of desolation – a state of complete emptiness or destruction.

Daniel Caesar doesn’t want a renewed connection the previous lover(s) he sings about though, he’s already acknowledge that it’s over between them for good anyways; he sings, “Babe I know I fucked up
Fucked with some empty cups
But you got your friends too
Better believe in it
Truth I’m up on my luck
Can’t stop running amok
But you got your friends too” which reveals to us that both Daniel and his past lover(s) have had their fair share of infidelity towards each other before too. He ends on a good note though by singing, “I just want to thank you for saving my life, Yes
I just want to thank you for all your advice”, it is somewhat-ironic of him to sing these lines because of the damage they might’ve done to each other, but it could also highlight the positive side(s) of their relationship which Daniel fondly remembers, and perhaps it also hints at Daniel longing for good closure between him and his past-lover(s) about their relationship instead of an argument.

The second half of the video shows Daniel Caesar playing as an angry coach to the previous women in his room who are now jogging on a long, secluded road. The women and Caesar sing, “Send me kisses when it’s grey skies
Its been so long, look how time flies
If you love me won’t you let me know
I’ve been trying to learn let you go
Call my name whenever tears fall
When you face your fears you stand tall, oohh, ooohh
Send me kisses when it’s grey skies
(can’t you see…)
Its been so long, look how time flies
(I’m spending all…)
If you love me won’t you let me know
(…This time)
I’ve been trying to learn let you go
Call my name whenever tears fall
(Come with me)
When you face your fears you stand tall”  which reveals to us the nature of their relationship; they both don’t “love” each other and they have been trying to let go of each other because of their meaningless acts of romance, yet they depend on each other when they’re lonely or facing “grey skies” because they fill a hole in them that they can’t necessarily fill alone.

A woman in the front of the crowd of runners slows down and stops the crowd when she attacks Daniel and begins to berate him; singing, “Know I’d take a bullet for you
No you don’t know what I go through
And I know you think you’re kind of nice
Do you remember when I saved your life?
Don’t come at me on some weak shit
It’s time you stopped displaying weakness” and through this, we are given a new angle of someone being “the other woman” to Daniel. This woman sings that she does care deeply for Daniel and accepts him regardless of his shortcomings and past, yet Daniel’s too caught up about his past-lover(s) for her to keep compromising for him, so she tells him how she feels through a harsh tirade. Audiences are now given a new way to perceive the lines before of “I just want to thank you for saving my life”, because now it’s revealed to us that Daniel may have been writing about this woman who kept compromising for him instead; he’s writing that it may have never worked out between them, but he is very grateful that she gave him strong advice to move on with, and she saved his life figuratively.

This type of song-writing and execution also reminds me (and could may very well be a homage) of Stevie Wonder’s Ordinary Pain from Songs in The Key of Life (1976)

The credits roll as the camera moves back and zooms-out somewhat-shakily; Daniel and the women stand still on the undisturbed road. This could allude to the idea that Daniel is moving on; driving forward but looking back; leaving that image of him and the women behind, regardless of loose-ends between them, romance and unsaid feelings.

Sean Leon sings on the closing-sequences of the video with a verse that shows him talking to his mother, and telling him how he feels about his current life. This further adds to the subtly-explored idea of Daniel’s newfound-fame and lifestyle changing him, and also being a new presence in his life through fast cars and roads. In a way, his room was representative of his personal life where he could freely observe his fame/lifestyle through a clear window, be alone, listen to music, or just sleep and forget about his troubles. However, he let too many women into his “room” and now he can’t distance himself away from them, so he has to take them with him everywhere he goes, even on the road, and teaches them how to behave/control themselves in relation to his fame and lifestyle. Eventually, a woman has enough of Daniel’s detached, resentful treatment and scolds Daniel because it’s unfair for her to make these compromises for someone who was naive enough to ignore the repercussions of placing someone into your personal life, and not expect yourself to care about them the same they care for you. Relationships do go both ways after all .

Freudian is an adjective which relate to the ideas or methods of Sigmund Freud, particularly his ideas about people’s hidden thoughts and feelings influencing their behaviour, and the importance of sexuality in molding those behaviours. Daniel Caesar’s Grammy-nominated album of the same name also explores and plays around the ideas of this word, with Get You (ft. Kali Uchis) from the same album also receiving Grammy nominations for Best R&B Performance and reflecting ideas of sexuality influencing our view of certain people in our lives.

Congratulations to Daniel Caesar for his Grammy nominations. I hope he wins them both because he truly does deserve it.

Instant Classics In 2017?

I saw this video tonight which claimed Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. is already a classic”. Crazy. I was really baffled that at only 7 months since the album’s release, it’s already hailed as a classic by the well-known music-journalism website: Pitchfork.

DAMN. in 2017 wasn’t culturally digested by Hip Hop and mainstream audiences the same way Good Kid MAAD City (2012) and To Pimp A Butterfly (2015) were.

Neither was Joey Bada$$’ All Amerikkkan Badass to his debuts; 1999 and/or B4.Da.$$

Neither was Drake’s More Life to his fan favourites; Take Care and If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late.

Even Big KRIT and The Migos’ critically acclaimed albums from this year feel like they just came and went in the eyes of people’s interest. Who’s even listening to Slippery in November of 2017?

It’s a shame because although not many of those albums could be argued as any of those artists’ best works, they definitely made and had strong statements in their legacies and careers as artists, which was sort of overlooked because of how our culture collectively consumes art.

Rap in today’s mainstream has become infected by a strong sense of hyper-consumerism, where product-cycles and the relevance of an artist’s work have become vastly reduced. It’s come to the point where we can’t even let a record breathe without asking the artists for a new album, song or search for a new artist that’ll feed into our mainstream-tastes.

Typically, a “classic” is simply defined by the quality of an artist’s work lasting a certain period of time. A period of time is subjective, especially to context, but 7 months is quite a reach from Pitchfork to call DAMN. a classic. Think about it this way: are people fondly remembering, or will they fondly remember GOD. or LOVE. from this album in the same way they remember Poetic Justice or Alright?

Scorpio List // Burning One

You are the luckiest girl alive.
We had our innocence then.
Conquered the world every time I smiled,
Now I don’t smile as often.

I don’t see you at all anymore.
I rarely pray but I just pray that you’re well.
What if you cried every night?
Below the moon and the sky,
I’ll burn one for you.

You are the luckiest girl alive.
I’m glad to have called you my friend.
One life to live,
So just be true to you.

Spring solitude has been a blessing to me.
Scorpio season is upon us now,
So let’s celebrate with more life and more music.

Here are my selections for my seasonal top 10…


I know I said I’d stop making these types of lists, but I stumbled across something last week and it reminded me that I had to make something like this…


My will to be the greatest is getting outrageous.
GOAT campaign resumes tomorrow.


Late 2015 – Early 2016. A time of my life where I found new infatuations for people and art, I got caught up in the daze of the years’ Summer madness too.

At the time, Kamashi Washington’s The Epic became the soundtrack to myself discovering a new solace, comfort, and also accepting the terms of my new and old friendships. It was a really soothing period of time for me after an unspoken couple of years in college dealing with heavy feelings and emotions.

Kamasi’s Cherokee and Clair De Lune from this album changed the way I looked towards the moon that year. I started dreaming again instead of restlessly emptying bottles of youthful arrogance and repression towards the night skies.

Listening to this album now fills me with nostalgia about those times; walking through Myers Park, spending hours at a time checking out Real Groovy and other music shops, listening to jazz albums in my bedroom and/or public transport instead of studying, texting close friends if they were free and keen to hang out sometime and such.

I know I can never go back to those times again, but I can at least remember them and relive them through the visions in my mind, the sounds of Kamasi’s compositions, and particularly Patrice Quinn’s vocals on this song. I think it just really captured what falling in love with the last person felt like to me…
“Dreams of summertime, of lovertime gone by
Throng my memory so tenderly, and sigh.”

It’s interesting to note that most songs on this album end in the same way they started with, almost like they come full-circle before beginning another song. In a way, I guess that idea extends itself as a fitting explanation as to why I’m coming back again to this album now, just over a year and a half later.

Nothin’ Even Matters

It’s been awhile since I’ve went out and bought an album. I went on a hiatus for a little while because an airport mishap in the Philippines lost me a bunch of albums I really loved. I was discouraged from buying albums for awhile because of that mishap, and I’d just download ZIP files of albums online from SoundCloud and torrent sites instead. I’d check some stores out every now and then for some cheap albums, particularly the thrift shops around the suburbs, but I wouldn’t really spend as much money on them as I would’ve last year. However, I walked by JB Hi-Fi this afternoon on my way down to Britomart, and I saw they had a sale going on for music. I immediately got caught up in browsing CDs again once I recognised some albums I admired but never got to own. I walked up and down the 3 aisles of the shop, where they kept every album they had in stock, for a little-bit over an hour. Ironically, I ended up only purchasing Lauryn Hill’s “Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill” and Gladys Knight & The Pips’ “Letter Full Of Tears” for $15.

Lauryn Hill and Gladys Knight are actually connected musically through a Wu-Tang Clan sample. The Wu-Tang Clan sampled Gladys Knights’ “The Way We Were / Try to Remember” from 1974, for their debut album’s song, “Can It Be All So Simple” in 1993, that same song by the Wu-Tang was then lifted and used as a sample for Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor” in 1998. I didn’t even realise the sample-connection between the two artists at first, I just bought their albums because it was well within my budget, and I already had an established appreciation for the two artists’ works, especially Lauryn’s “Nothing Even Matters (Ft. D’angelo)” and Gladys’ part in “That’s What Friends Are For (Ft. Stevie Wonder, Elton John, and Dionne Warwick)”. I love that cosmic-type of connection though, it really makes me appreciate how 2 songs with a 24 year-gap between them, and how 2 artists from different generations, are connected in a particular way through sampling (and The Wu-Tang Clan).

I don’t even know why I’m up at 3:06 AM, writing this on a Tuesday night before school. Perhaps I’m just too restless, or maybe I’m just procrastinating about my assignments. Maybe I was just inspired to write about my feelings from the albums I bought too, but as of now, I’m re-listening to some albums I really loved and already have in my CD collection (I’m listening to Grover Washington Jr.’s “Winelight” as I’m writing this). I can’t wait to buy some more albums soon, but you guys could help me out too by donating an album (any D’angelo or John Coltrane album will be very much appreciated).

The frustration and constant questioning about which album(s) you should buy, the little sighs you make when you have to make the decision to place an album back to where you found it, the moments of genuine thrill when you find an album you love, the imaginary-scenarios you have in your head when you’re just a few dollars short of buying every album you wanted to. Those types of things were some of what I went through today. It also reminded me about what made album-shopping so pleasurable for me. If only I had an extra $2 though, I would’ve been able to purchase John Coltrane’s “My Favourite Things” too…